Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's That Bug?

We have a lot of strange and beautiful bugs here in the Northwest, and this is just one of them. It's known as Buprestis aurulenta or Golden Buprestis and it is a wood boring beetle. It is a native species and considered a pest. The fresh cut wood for the window framing has brought out a few curious beetles and this is the most beautiful.

The bug I miss most from the Northeast is the Lightning bug or Firefly (Photinus pyralis) . There are none west of the Rockies. I spent a good portion of my childhood summers in PA with my grandparents each year and dusk as always a magical time as the Lightning bugs came out. I don't remember seeing them in Vermont or Massachusetts.

The lavender is going into full bloom and with it, a horde of butterflies and skippers. Mostly dozens of Hylephila phyleus or Fiery Skipper and there are also a few Neophasia menapia or Pine White butterflies. The six big plants that I have are a hive of activity. It's one of the few plants the deer won't touch that likes our dry hot summers.

Speaking of deer, here is a picture snapped yesterday of the doe with twins. She is a very protective Mom. I have only to go out there and she is on alert, she hisses and takes a stomping step forward toward me, daring me to just try and come closer. The twins make ready behind her for flight. I tried for pictures the other day, but she was too far away for my terrible camera skills. I got a threatening few stomps then too!

The blanket weaving is about 3/4 of the way done. It's slow going since a full pick is really 4 throws, top, bottom, bottom and top again to complete the double width. I'm at the point where I am excited to finish and get it off and see the whole cloth opened up. With the addition of the extra yarn it looks like I'll have just enough to finish it up.

The window framing is also about 3/4 done with only one opening to left to be framed, but it's a big one. One window is 72" in width and like all the others 60" in height. We'll have to get another strong set of hands to set the windows. They are all very heavy and must be installed from the outside. There is no way Gene and I can lift them alone safely.

Lastly, it's been hot, damn hot even for Southern Oregon. We got up to 96 degrees on Wednesday and close to it yesterday. Thunderstorms have been rolling through late afternoons for the last two days and more expected every day through the weekend. Seattle and Portland broke records and I know from keeping up with some of my blogs, BC Canada is having a wicked heat wave too. So far the west has been pretty quiet as far as major fires, but that all can change in an instant.
It makes Jack worried

and Pogo and Rodger, not so much...:-)


  1. I loved the fireflies growing up also, but I'm not sure they are as prevalent East of the Rockies as they have been in the past. I certainly don't have a yard full of them. I get very excited over seeing just a couple. Maybe Sue can tell you about the NE.

    What do the deer think of the horses? Interesting she takes up with you all. Is that pine flooring under Jack? I love all the grain. Our oak is tighter and smaller boards. So I just wondered.

    We've been marveling over our cooler temps. It'll only be 83 here today. At the same time we have been watching your heat wave. I had not thought about fires also. We'll be watching.

  2. Jennifer,
    The horses and deer co-mingle frequently. It's not unusual to see deer resting in the top portion of the paddock or the fawns playing. Last year Imp had his own few fawns that would play around him. Riding,the deer take note and run off but we can usually get closer than one would on foot. Of course the guys wear bells on their saddles, so it makes it a little harder. Oh, the deer will sometimes drink from the horses water tank.
    The floors are Douglas Fir, native to this area and cheap. I would have liked a hard wood or all tile, but the budget dictated something a little less expensive.
    It would be nice to think we'll get out of this fire season without a big one. Time will tell.

  3. That is a beautiful beetle....as beetles go!

    I have a friend who's an etymologist and he doesn't like the fact that New England has fewer bugs than some places farther south. Personally, I'm fine with it though!

    Never knew that about fireflies. They're a beautiful part of summer! We definitely have them in NH. Once we were leaving the woods at dusk and we must have walked through a firefly party....they were everywhere. So magical!

    That's cool that the deer actually stomps and hisses at you! (The things you endure for blogging!) Once a fox growled at Jim when he got too close trying for a photo. That was definitely memorable!

    Good job on the blanket progress! We can't wait to see it either! (That must be the royal we!)

    Awesome job on the window project too. I've been so much less productive than you....but there's still August....maybe I'll make a comeback!

    We finally have hot weather - in the 80's and super humid with rain every other day or so. Beachable......with that icy northeastern water!

    Great dog pictures!! I'm such a sucker for dogs!!


  4. I miss the fireflies from back east too - caught a jar full every night to use as a nightlight........poor things, they rarely made it to morning.

    Just back from the coast - great respite from our 105 degree heat - amazing how just over the mountain range there's a difference of 60 degrees.

  5. Well, and someone would probably slap me for saying this but isn't it a shame that fire ants made it into the US and no one has figured out how to get fireflies over the Rockies!!!

    Sue, glad to hear you have them up in NH. I have heard from others that the numbers have dropped. Like Jennifer, the dusk was lit up with hundreds of them when I was growing up in the 60's. I hardly think you've been less productive, just doing different things!. If your hot weather continues that cold Atlantic water might feel quite good!

    This doe is an older doe and if I go out without the camera held out, her reaction is not as strong. I discovered that yesterday.

    Cindie, the coast was a perfect place to spend this hot hot time. I'll bet you two were wondering why you came back so soon!

  6. The thunderstorms scare Eddie too, so not only does he have to bear the indignity of a t-shirt to keep him from his stitches, he is reduced to cowering the hall bath in the afternoons - this poor reduced proud ranch dog.

    I love that bug. It's looks like dichroic glass, or perhaps dichroic glass looks like the bug, since it came first. I was going to harvest our lavender but I really have enough already, and the lesser gold finches perch on it and eat it or maybe the bugs on it. They're so tiny they sit and nibble away at something.